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#336: Focus on Your Strengths

Posted By Mark Haas CMC FIMC, Monday, June 28, 2010
Updated: Monday, June 28, 2010
As consultants, we spend a lot of time focusing on areas of weakness that require strengthening. We work diligently on becoming a stronger public speaker, being more technologically savvy, improving our listening skills, etc. Although often necessary, working exclusively to improve our weak points might not be the best use of our time!

From an early age, many of us are conditioned to focus on improving our weak points. As many school children can attest, parents often spend far more effort and concern over a student's struggle with a challenging subject then towards one grasped effortlessly and passed easily.

This tendency often flows all the way through to the workplace. Much more effort is placed on improving an employee's weaker areas of performance than towards leveraging one's existing strengths in the performance of their work, or helping to make one's strongest areas of performance even more formidable. This is unfortunate, because building on an existing strength tends to require far less effort than that of improving weaknesses and the negativity surrounding the process is significantly diminished. If standing out from your consulting peers is your goal, then enhancing your already notable strengths is a good use of your limited resources.

Tip: All people possess strengths to leverage and weaknesses to contend with. Instead of spending all of your time trying to fix your weaknesses, use the classic "hammer and pivot" strategy principle: hold on your weaknesses and press forward with a singular strength. Concentrate on leveraging your strengths wherever possible and place a focus on making them even stronger, which should apply to your clients as well as yourself.

© 2010 Institute of Management Consultants USA

Tags:  learning  practice management  professional development  your consulting practice 

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